Wednesday 8 May 2013

Guardsmen in the Fall, Part 3: Battle at Vasilievka

"3. Battle at Vasilievka

The situation on the morning of September 27th was as follows:
  • 9th CD defending at Kozelnoye and further to north-east.
  • 5th CD defending at Horol and Zaparidovshina
  • Left and right flanks of the divisions were open
  • 6th Guards ITB at height 191.2 and Pomerki
The brigade's orders were to cover Vasilievka from the side of Kozelnoye. Against the 9th CD, up to regiment of infantry and 20 enemy tanks were sent. From 20 km south-west of Zaparidovshina, more enemy tanks approached. 

On September 26th, the enemy showed activity, and occupied Horol (on the right flank of the 5th CD). The 6th Guards ITB was moved to Pomerki, covering an open approach. 

At 8:00 on September 27th, the enemy attacked. A column of 60-65 tanks with infantry support appeared in the south, aimed at the open left flank of the 5th CD. Upon reaching the Zaparidovshina-Kapustnitsa road, the split up. One part of the force went to Kozelnoye, the other to Kapustnitsa and Vasilievka. 

At 9:00, the 6th Guards ITB received an order to dispatch a company of T-34s in order to prevent the enemy from reaching Kapustnitsa. The enemy reached Kapustnitsa first, set the village on fire, and moved to Grun. 

The tank group that was moving to Kozelnoye was flanked by the elements of the brigade at Pomerki and height 191.2. 

Acting on their own initiative, a group of tanks from the brigade left for Vasilievka. Despite numeric advantage, the enemy did not withstand the attack, and fled in the direction of Kapustnitsa. 

Heights 181.4, 191.2, and Vasilievka were held by the brigade all day, and half of the night, after which, as ordered, they left for Grun. During that day, the enemy lost:
  • Tanks: 8
  • Vehicles: 40
  • Infantry: 50
The brigade lost:
  • T-34 tanks: 1
  • Armoured cars: 1
  • AA guns: 3
  • Fuel trucks: 1
  • Engineering vehicles: 1
  • Killed: 5
  • Wounded: 6"

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